Large Family

My First Unassisted Childbirth

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Almost a family of 7

I have had two of our six children at home. Our first three children were all born in a hospital. Our fourth baby was born at a birthing center, which was 3 hours away from our house, with a midwife. When I got pregnant with our fifth baby, I figured we would just go back to the same midwife and birthing center because I really enjoyed the whole experience we had there. But after talking to my husband about it, we were not on the same page.

He suggested, for various reasons, that we have the baby at home. Immediately I told him no. I thought he was talking crazy. But I said I would pray about it. I prayed about it for a while and it got to the point that it was all I could think about. I started researching and reading and I slowly started coming around to the idea. Finally, I told my husband that I was on board with an unassisted home birth. We also discussed prenatal appointments and decided that I would do my own prenatals. The midwife agreed to meet with me at 33 weeks. During this appointment, she did all the normal stuff, but then sat down with me for over an hour to discuss childbirth and answer any questions I had. She was a little nervous about our choice to have an unassisted birth, but she was supportive and helpful.

Each week, after that, I would take my blood pressure and weight at home, and send her the info. She would tell me if something was not right. When I went into labor, it was so different from anything I had experienced before that I texted her and she predicted exactly what would happen.

I woke up at about 10:00 pm with hard contractions every 10 minutes. This went on for 4 hours. The contractions were strong enough that I was unable to sleep in between them, so I got up, ate something and wandered around the house. At 2:00 am, I woke up Austin (who had really been awake most of the time anyway) and told him we should probably start getting things ready downstairs. We had a birth tub to fill up and supplies to lay out. I headed downstairs while he took a shower and grabbed something to eat. By the time he made it down the stairs, my contractions had completely stopped. We decided to go back to bed and wait to see what would happen. I ended up sleeping the rest of the night.

We got up the next morning, had breakfast and drove into town to run some errands. When we stopped at the grocery store, we had lunch there and while walking around, I had a couple contractions that I had to stop the cart and wait them out. When we got home, I had a few more contractions that were pretty painful, but they were coming about 20 minutes apart. Finally, around 4 pm, we decided to take the kids over to a friends house. I had texted the midwife and she said that my contractions probably wouldn’t get regular until about an hour before baby was born, and that my water wouldn’t break until baby was coming out.

We filled up the birth tub and I got in it for about 30 minutes. I thought I would love it, because I did with the labor of my fourth baby, but I was so uncomfortable in the water this time that I didn’t get back in after that first 30 minutes. The contractions I was having with this labor were really painful and sitting still was not easing the pain at all. I walked around and leaned on my husband for support. I traveled from the living room to the bathroom many times.

About 7:10, I had a really hard contraction (which were coming every minute or so by now) and then said I needed to use the bathroom. My husband said ok, but I needed to hurry in there before I had another contraction. I sat down on the toilet and a contraction started. Praise God that Austin followed me into the bathroom, because I automatically had an urge to push, which I did. He had to push my shoulders back so that he could catch the baby before she fell into the toilet. The midwife was right and my water broke at the same time babies head was born (it was nice for that to happen on the toilet…lots less clean up).

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Kaydence, shortly after she was born

Her cord was pretty short and I needed a more comfortable place to sit, so Austin brought in some pillows and propped them up against the bathtub. I sat down on the floor and just snuggled my baby for a while. She latched on right away, and after I started having some contractions, I couldn’t get comfortable to deliver the placenta. By then we had been sitting for about 20 minutes, so the cord was done pulsing. We cut the cord and he wrapped baby up, then helped me get out to the couch. The next contraction I felt, I squatted down and delivered the placenta.

After Austin got me some food and drink, he emptied the tub, cleaned up the bathroom and living room, and then we laid down to sleep. I thought that I wanted to sleep on the couch, but after about an hour, I decided my bed would be much more comfortable. So, he took the baby upstairs first, then came and helped me climb the stairs. I spent the rest of the night in bed, unless I needed to use the bathroom.

The other kids came home the next morning and were so excited to meet their new baby sister.

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First photo as a family of 7!

After the baby was born, we traveled to see the midwife and she performed the newborn screening on baby, and did a check up on me, then filled out all the paperwork I needed from her to register babies birth.

My first unassisted birth was a wonderful experience. My relationship with my husband was strengthened and I realized even more how blessed I am to have him. I learned a ton of stuff that I didn’t know about pregnancy and childbirth. I was also reminded of how awesome God is. He designed and created my body to be able to grow, carry and deliver another human being. I am thankful that He allowed us to have a smooth delivery and a healthy baby.

 

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